Application Review: Jewels with Buddies

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Softle Designs | 30.8 MB | FREE

Swap items in a grid. Line up three or more. This idea has been used since the dawn of time; however, each game seems to want to have their own twist to it. The original was Bejeweled that made it popular. Now it seems everyone is doing their own revision. Softle Designs decides to add an online adjustment to the jewel swapping game with their own little customizations.  

Gameplay

The game stylings behind Jewels is very simple, swap two adjacent jewels to create a row of two or more. Points are awarded for each match, the more you match, the more you get. Chains not only look cool, but they also get users more points. You get 60 seconds to collect as many jewels as you can.

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Swapping jewels may seem easy, but the time is what bottlenecks you.

In addition to the original game styling, Softle also adds a few twists of their own. The first being the multiplier. Multiply the points you gain by a number by using the special jewel with the denoted x# on it. This will help your score skyrocket within the minute blitz you get.

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A multiplier is key to getting a high score.

The second change deals with powerups. Powerups are handled a little differently in Jewels. You select up to two powerups to use in each round. Each one is powered by different jewels. So getting a variety of jewels is good to charging up these powerups for use. Each one has a different effect, so find one that works for you. Powerups can be earned in game, or purchased using coins. You also do get some coins with each game you play.

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Powerups are different and charged differently. You can also purchase coins which purchase powerups.

The third change is the biggest one, the one that drives the game. You are pinned against an opponent. Both players strive for the highest score. Whoever has accumulated the most points at the end of three rounds is declared victorious. It adds a nice competitive nature to an already fast paced game.

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The multiplayer aspect of this games makes it a lot more competitive.

Controls are very simple. Swipe a jewel to swap it with an adjacent one above, below, right, or left of it. Powerups are activated by pressing on the powerup located on the bottom, center of the screen. Each powerup is then controlled differently.

Softle Designs did do a nice job on the gameplay as a whole. They sped up the game, making it more exciting and faster than ever. Powerups make the game more unpredictable.

Gameplay: ★★★★★

Graphics

When you start up the game after the tutorials, you are given a home screen. This hub of information gives you everything you need to know about what’s going on with your games. Since it’s a turn-based game, you can view who you’re playing, who’s turn it is, as well as your past games. I do wish this was a little prettier though. The interface works, but seems out of date.

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The main menu allows you to do many things like share information and view your matches.

In game graphics are actually pretty good. Graphics are clear, and hold a fun cartoon style. The graphics and gamestyle really just scream family game, and it is. The graphics are crisp, clear and fun overall. Really nothing to really change with the overall theme of the game.

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They aren’t overly detailed, but the work well as a whole.

Graphics: ★★★★½

Audio

Sound effects are abundant in Jewels. Each gem swap has a sound, menu taps have one as well. Each powerup rings off its familiar tone when you activate and use them. Sound effects are fun, laid back, and relaxing. The game is, however, void of any music whatsoever. This is my only complaint when playing the game.

Audio: ★★★★

Replay

This game does have some nice addictive qualities them it. That is the driving force behind the game. The addictive gameplay is what keeps players coming. The online capabilities are what make the game work. Both of these work in unison to ensure there are players online for you to play against.

You don’t have internet? That’s fine, grab your friend next to you, or complete stranger, and play against them. Note that this won’t be included on your online records. Want to play alone, well, you can become your friend (or stranger) that is next to you.

Replay: ★★★★★

Value

The game is available in the App Store for around the price of…  Well, it’s just FREE. I would say its well worth it. The system that Softle Designs has built up for online play, as well as the game itself are well built in contrast. If you love puzzle games, and want to compete in the world, this game will scratch that itch you haven’t been able to reach.  Really, there isn’t any reason to pass up.

Value: ★★★★★

Final Thoughts

Softle games did a good job creating this game. It’s fun, fast, and frickin’ addictive. The additional twists in the game make speed, technique, and luck all a requirement to perform well in the game. At the end of the day, it’s just something to kill time with, and kill time it will.

Overall Score

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Jewels with Buddies

† All prices are in US currency.
This review was written by the iFans.com Review Team. Cumulative scores are rounded to the nearest half or full star.
All accessories, applications, themes, tweaks, or other products were purchased by iFans at their respective prices unless stated otherwise.
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